Marists launch Asian mission training program

Two Australian Brothers have volunteered to leave for the Philippines to join the inaugural orientation program for a new Marist mission in Asia.

Over 130 brothers have already responded to an appeal from Marist Superior General Br Sean Sammon for volunteers for the new mission.

"At the heart of the new mission ad gentes project is this dream: to mission over the next four years 150 or more brothers to new apostolic works throughout the countries of Asia," Br Sammon wrote in a letter to Marist brothers, "and also to send a smaller number to those restructured provinces that have not yet achieved the necessary levels of vitality and viability that are needed if a future is to be theirs."

Australian Marists, Paul Hough, currently Headmaster of St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill, and Brian Kinsella, who have worked in schools as a teacher, coordinator and as a boarding supervisor, will join the first group of 17 volunteers who will leave for Davao, Philippines, in August for a four month "Mission Ad Gentes Orientation Program" to prepare for the mission.

Br Kinsella said he was animated to join the ad gentes program through his immersion experience in the Philippines in 1997. He says his experience staying with a a rural family in Cebu was "a challenge and a joy."

"The experience was an interesting eye opener for someone used to a comfortable life in Australia's insulation and isolation," he said.

In 2007, there will be two further volunteer orientation programs of five months each, with another two programs in 2008.

"The program in Davao has a central aim of promoting a passion for the mission of Jesus and to discern one's ability to participate in mission ad gentes," a Marist news report explained.

As well as developing a Marist mission spirituality, the program will aim to develop a sensitivity and appreciation of Asian cultures, religions and the local churches.

The first Ad Gentes training group in Davao will include brothers from Ghana, Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria, US, Mexico, Spain, Portugal, Germany as well as from the Solomons and the Philippines.

Another Australian Marist, Br Mick Sexton from Melbourne is also preparing to go to Algeria.

Marist Mission Ad Gentes - Orientation Programme in Davao (The Marist Brothers 14/7/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Marist Brothers Ad Gentes project
Marist Brothers Sydney Province Australia

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21 Jul 2006